Alturas, Cal. – Modoc County was the first California to relax Coronavirus guidelines, but it’s not business as usual.
Monday marked the start of a return to a normal business week in Modoc County.
“Our county is open.” Confirms Heather Hadwick of Modoc County Emergency Services. “But in a very scaled back sense.”
Churches are now allowed to hold services with proper distancing.
Restaurants can now offer at least some ‘dine in’ meals.
“This wasn’t a mandatory.” Clarifies Modoc County Sheriff William ‘Tex’ Dowdy. “This was something that, if a business wants to open up, they can – if they’re not ready to open up, that’s fine, too.”
It’s not business as usual.
Modoc County Schools are still closed.
There’s a screening tent set up outside of the Modoc County Medical Center.
“We are with the county on this.” Notes Brandi Polley of the Medical Center. “We believe that they have thresholds in place that will allow us to be prepared in this situation.”
Antonio’s Restaurant is open, but only for take-out until they can ramp up staffing.
“I’ve got one staff member coming in this weekend, then we’ll think about in a couple weeks bringing in two more.” Explains Antonio’s Stan Yogi.
Modoc County still has no cases of Coronavirus.
The Board of County Supervisors met behind closed doors Monday to carefully consider their next steps.
“We really feel like rural, and northern California is not affected by Covid the same way as the city and metropolitan areas.” Claims Hadwick.
“They needed to reopen.” Adds Yogi. ‘We needed to get some economic stimulus going, move some dollars around. So, I don’t think it was too early.”
Modoc County opted to reopen May 1st, without waiting for approval from the state.
County Supervisors stress they are continuing to work closely with the Governor’s office.
KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970’s. He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.Lyle’s job history is quite colorful.
He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand. A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90’s as a news writer and commercial producer. In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience.
“The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain. Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story”.
When he’s not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.